The annual Pitt-Johnstown Mr. UPJ competition may have been in a downsized venue, but the talent and spirit were as big as ever.
The event took place last Thursday in the Cambria Room.
Luke Trotz won the Mr. UPJ title and Spirit Award for raising the most money in “Penny Wars”.
Alpha Gamma Delta chapter president Ashley Zastawniak said she enjoys every part of the competition.
“The guys put so much time and effort into their acts for each category.
“Each year I feel has gotten better and better, and I think that this has been our best year yet,” she said.
She said they are unsure of how much money was raised this year, but each year their goal is to raise $2,000. All proceeds go to the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation, which helps people with diabetes.
The competition began with the formal wear section to introduce the 13 contestants, and then went on to sportswear.
All the contestants had an interesting take on their favorite sport or outdoor activity.
Senior Travis Schluep’s “deer hunting” skit got great laughter from the audience as he chased a “deer,” Phil Bachman, who was wearing antlers, around the Cambria Room.
Zach Perpetua’s sportswear talent may have been the most impressive of the night.
Perpetua, with the help of some of his Sigma Tau Gamma brothers, arranged a human bowling game.
The Sigma Tau brothers arranged themselves as bowling pins while Perpetua ran into them to the tune of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” song. Perpetua demonstrated three different games, finally striking on the last one.
Trotz did a wheelchair basketball routine.
Dancing was the talent of choice for many of the competitors.
Eric Hirschfeld, Perpetua and Travis Schluep did choreographed dance routines.
Brandon Dargay and Nick Dobransky recreated dance scenes from movies.
Dargay shared a rendition of the famous “Napoleon Dynamite” dance scene and Dobransky did a rendition of a Channing Tatum’s “It’s Raining Men” dance in “Magic Mike.”
Trotz sang Rob Thomas’ “Ever the Same,” while a photo slideshow of his friends and family played on a screen behind him.
The competition concluded with a question-and-answer portion where contestants picked a random question out of a hat.
After the question-and-answer segment, Alpha Gamma Delta sisters counted the judges’ votes, while the Mr. Congeniality Award was announced.
This award had never been done before at Mr. UPJ. The winner, Bob Voeghtly, was chosen by his competitors.
Voeghtly said he was surprised to get the award.
“I’m a commuter, so I don’t spend a lot of time here. A lot of these guys do, so this is surprising and a huge honor.”
Voeghtly represented the Student Nurses Association of Pa. and said he couldn’t have done the competition without their support.
Voeghtly said he really enjoyed being in the competition.
“It’s been an absolute blast to get to hang out with other contestants and watch their skits. It’s a really fun time.”
Trotz represented Dance Ensemble.
He said he received help from Dance Ensemble members and his Delta Chi fraternity brothers in coming up with ideas for all categories.
Trotz said he enjoyed spending time with the Alpha Gamma Delta sisters and other contestants.
“There was a great group of people involved in the event, and I really enjoyed getting to know them better.”
He said he was surprised to not only win the Spirit Award, but also the entire competition.
“The last time I checked the penny wars, I had a lot more silver than pennies.
“I was even more surprised about being the winner of the competition.Every guy on that stage is more than deserving of being named Mr. UPJ,” Trotz said.
He said winning was an amazing feeling.
“It didn’t really sink in at first until I gave my mother a hug and she was almost in tears.
“I was really happy to be able to have that experience with my family and some of my closest friends in the audience.”
Trotz said he could not have done this competition without the support of his friends and family who were there to cheer him on.
“I would just like to thank my family and friends once again for making my three and a half years here at Pitt-Johnstown a time I wouldn’t trade for the world.
“Leaving this campus will not be an easy thing to do.”